A drunk cab passenger grabbed a taxi driver by his neck and punched his face after the cabby stopped him for walking away without paying his fare in the early hours of Feb 4, a court heard yesterday.
When the taxi driver tried to run away after being attacked, Anand Pakiasillan, 27, threw a dustbin at him, dented his taxi bonnet and rained more punches on the driver's face.
Yesterday, Anand, whose occupation is not known, was jailed for four weeks and fined $2,000 after he pleaded guilty to two charges: causing hurt, and using abusive words on a police officer.
A District Court heard that Anand met two friends at night on Feb 3 and they drank alcohol at several establishments, before ending up at a club at Hotel Rendezvous.
Anand got drunk and was helped into a Comfort cab at about 3.30am the next day.
When the taxi was in Choa Chu Kang, Anand gave the driver, Mr Lim Shunguo, 33, directions to his home. Mr Lim told the passenger that he knew the way, but Anand hurled vulgarities at him. When the cab reached its destination at about 3.55am, Anand left without paying.
Mr Lim got out and asked Anand for the fare. But Anand hurled more vulgarities at him before grabbing his neck.
Mr Lim struggled to break free and fell to the ground with Anand.
They got up and Anand punched the taxi driver's face thrice.
Mr Lim tried to get away from his assailant by running around his taxi. But Anand threw a dustbin in his direction and hit Mr Lim's taxi bonnet with his fists a few times.
Shortly after, Anand punched Mr Lim's face three more times and hit him once in the chest. Mr Lim had bruises on his face and chest, and neck strain. Later, Anand used abusive words on a policeman.
He has since paid $130 in compensation to Mr Lim.
Anand could have been jailed for two years and fined $5,000 for causing hurt; and fined $5,000 and jailed for one year for using abusive words on a policeman.